Posts Tagged ‘Linda Finlay’

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linda-finlay

 

Monday’s Child is the first of Linda Finlay’s new Ragged School series. This time the story takes place in a turn of the century Torquay already attracting its share of wealthy tourists.

 

All the ingredients of Linda Finlay’s deft storytelling are there: an atmospheric sense of history, a setting that jumps off the page and fully formed characters that develop during the story to keep you turning the page to find out how they fare through all that life throws their way. The Red Cliffs Ragged School comes to life on the page as new owner Sarah and school master Harry strive to keep it open and the children in their care safe.

With plenty of references to social change, especially with regard to womens’ role in society, the girls in the Ragged School are treated as well as the boys and given prospects, whilst adult characters support the sufferage movement. I loved the gentle sense of humour pervading the narrative either through the minor characters like Mrs Snooper and Miss Middle or the amusing dialogue between the Ragged School children or Sarah and Harry.

Monday’s Child is great read for the winter days leading up to Christmas. And I am delighted this novel is the first in a series because I can’t wait to find out what will happen to Sarah, Harry and the lovely Mrs Dawes and the children of Red Cliffs Ragged School next.

coverSeventeen year old Merry wants a better life away from her Cornish fishing village. No more back-breaking work in the pilchard factory or near starvation when the catches don’t come in – and no more assumptions that the best she can hope for in life is to be married to a self-centred pretentious local.

Regular readers of Linda’s saga’s will enjoy reading about a new local craft, Cornish knit frocks, together with some new West Country settings. The strong characterisation is there as always. Merry makes a likeable heroine and her quest to better herself is a joy to follow. Other characters are beautifully sketched. I particularly liked Mrs Smale and Grozen. The Sea Shell Girl is a compelling saga paced to allow the reader time for familiarisation with the characters and their lifestyles before a surprising and emotional ending which weaves together the storylines in a most satisfying way. Strongly recommended and a great read on a Cornish holiday.